Office of Student Financial Aid

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Verify FAFSA Information

On this page:

  • Why your FAFSA information could be selected for verification
  • What to do if you are selected
  • File your federal income tax return early
  • How to order a tax transcript from the IRS
  • Personal copies of tax returns are no longer accepted

What is verification?

Verification is a process to confirm the information you provided on your FAFSA. The US Department of Education may at any time select your application for verification based on the information you provided. We are required to make sure that all aid is awarded to students according to the federal and state regulations.


If your application is selected for verification

we will send you an e-mail that explains how to access your financial aid status on the SF State Gateway. Read the instructions that explain how to submit the required documentation.

  • Check your e-mail and Gateway regularly
  • Financial aid counselors will review all submitted documentation and will correct any discrepancies. Changes to FAFSA data are sent electronically to the federal government
  • Your award amounts will be determined after we receive the corrected and verified FAFSA.

Information You May be Asked to Verify

You (and your parents) may be asked to submit documentation or clarification of information you provided on your FAFSA.


File Your Federal Income Tax Return Early

so that you can use the IRS Data Retrieval process when you complete your FAFSA or to update a previously submitted FAFSA. When completing the FAFSA, if you list your tax filing status as"will file" because you have not yet filed your income tax return, you can update that status and correct the estimated income information once you have submitted your tax return to the IRS.


IRS Tax Transcripts

You (and your parents) may be required to order free of charge--tax transcripts from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Because of a change in federal law, personal copies of tax returns are no longer accepted as verification of income. A tax transcript is used to document -

  • Taxable income
  • Federal income tax paid
  • Certain untaxed income and benefits received

  • Other information you may be asked to document:

  • Income earned from work if you were not required to file a tax return- W2 forms
  • Assets such as bank accounts, rental properties, value of a business or investment
  • Untaxed income and benefits received
  • Food stamp/SNAP benefits received
  • Child support PAID
  • Number of family members in the household
  • Number of family members enrolled in college
  • Citizenship status
  • Your name and social security number
  • Any information needed to clarify your status and determine your aid eligibility

How to Return Completed Forms and Documents to Us

Required financial aid verification documents will be posted your Gateway record. Download, complete, sign and submit. Follow the instructions on all forms and in your e-mail message.

  • Answer all questions. Read each form carefully and completely so you don't miss anything.
  • Make sure you include the required documentation with signatures.
  • Sign all forms and documents.
  • Incomplete, inaccurate, or illegible responses will cause delay.
  • Keep a copy for your records of everything you submit.
  • Mail the required documents to our address included on all of our forms.


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